Guides, STT agree to take differing routes to a common goal

Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association (BGFGA)Save The Tarpon Inc. respects the decision of the Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association Inc. to pursue its own organizational goals relating to tarpon fishing in Boca Grande Pass. We are pleased that many individual members of the guides association have pledged their continuing support for Save The Tarpon Inc.’s efforts to elevate public awareness of the harm being done to this world famous fishery by the Professional Tarpon Tournament Series.

Save The Tarpon will continue to focus on ending the outdated and wasteful practice of gaff, drag, weigh and kill. Save the Tarpon will continue to demand enforcement of Florida’s safe boating laws during PTTS events. Save the tarpon will continue its work to ensure public access to Boca Grande Pass at all times.

Many of those who support Save The Tarpon Inc.’s efforts are obviously sympathetic to the concerns of the BGFGA as they relate to the use of the so-called Pass Jig, the most common method of fishing employed by PTTS participants.

It is our belief that injecting this contentious issue into the current debate would deflect attention from the group’s stated goal of bringing about achievable and equitable reform. The PTTS is desperately seeking to characterize opposition to gaff, drag, hoist and kill as an assault on the recreational tarpon angler. It is a strategy that has clearly failed.

The Boca Grande Fishing Guides Association Inc. created a sea change in public thinking through its efforts to promote what was originally known as the tarpon “kill tag” when it was adopted. Almost overnight the senseless “hero photo” slaughter of tarpon came to an end.

The last vestige of this practice, unfortunately, lives on through the PTTS and its televised “hero photos” of tarpon being needlessly gaffed, dragged, hoisted, weighed, gutted and buried in the deepest waters of Boca Grande Pass while it perpetuates the fiction of “live release.”

Save The Tarpon Inc. and its nearly 2,000 members remain focused on effectively finishing the job the BGFGA started those many years ago.